AN INSPIRATIONAL Lutterworth lad is tentatively back on his feet after undergoing surgery for a rare form of cancer in a US hospital.
Alex Goodwin, 9, the son of Rugby policeman Jeff Goodwin, said it was “the most important day of my life” before doctors removed parts of his right leg and replaced them with man-made components.
And his surgeon declared him “a champion” when he took his first steps just days afterwards.
Alex has Ewing Sarcoma, a type of bone cancer that affects fewer than 30 children in the UK each year. His family, from Dunton Bassett near Lutterworth, raised enough money to send him to Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas for specialist treatment.
Orthopedic oncology surgeon Howard Rosenthal said: “The cancer is out. He’s going to make it through, he just has a tough road ahead.”
Alex has now been discharged from hospital and is recuperating at his temporary Kansas home before he returns to Children’s Mercy to treat lesions on the left side of his body.
But he has already begun the long road to recovery by making early progress with his physical therapy – even tacking a set of stairs with the aid of his walker.
He is fast becoming a Twitter sensation with just under 16,500 followers – including Captain Kirk himself, William Shatner, who called him “my brave Ensign Alex”.
And his dad said all the messages of support – from friends and strangers alike – have been overwhelming.
Jeff said: “We’ve had nothing but support and kindness from from all over the world. I know people in the United Kingdom have been waiting up, for messages that Alex has come out of the surgery.
“He’s in pain, let’s be honest, but he’s come through to the other side. That’s the main thing. We’ve had a victory.”
Alex keeps his supporters posted with regular video updates – always determined and optimistic.
He told his Twitter followers: “90 per cent of the cancer’s gone now, there’s only 10 per cent left. But everything is great, my leg hurts a little.
“I need to stay here for the second part of my surgery and maybe for a third, because there’s a bit of cancer in my left leg and my pelvis.
“But you need to keep those positive thoughts up. And once I’ve done the second and third bit, I promise I’ll come back to England soon, and I’ll see all of you. I love you guys so much.”
Hugging the camera, he added: “You guys are so great; you’re the best followers a boy could ever have.”
Search ‘Alexander’s journey’ on Twitter to follow his progress.
The family is continuing to raise funds for Alex’s continuing rehabilitation through childhood and beyond. Visit www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/jeffrey-goodwin-1?utm_id=60 to donate.